We’re all afflicted with our church traditions and cultures. According to our denominational or church backgrounds, we will have different concepts of miracles. This really is inevitable because we do not absolutely all study the bible by ourselves. All of the time, we depend upon our elders, bible teachers and godly leaders showing us what the bible says. We make the assumption that they are more knowledgeable than we’re and so we simply trust what they have taught.
Our church traditions have their features but several of those are producing negative results. Therefore, it’s not whether my church tradition surpasses yours or vice versa. The key is to learn which aspects of our traditions are in line with what the bible actually teaches and which are not. It is dangerous to you need to things for granted.
Through The Elijah Challenge ministry, we have taught many nameless and faceless believers from the mainline evangelical and Pentecostal / Charismatic churches. We thank God that a number of these mainline evangelical churches are receptive to divine healing and the practice of healing the sick.
There are a few churches that believe miracles have previously ceased and therefore they can not happen today. Through their teachings, essays and books, quite a number of these church leaders have buried divine healings and miracles in the grave of cessation. Regardless of many modern evidences of healing miracles they try to justify their belief by rejecting all these as counterfeits.
The cessation theory expounded by Benjamin B. Warfield, a professor at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921, continues to affect many churches. Echoing Warfield, these Christians claim that God only allow extensive miracles in three periods of history, namely from the time of Moses to Joshua, Elijah and Elisha. The next period was from the time of Jesus to the Apostles. The ultimate time when miracles can be rampant will be the time of the Antichrist and the great Tribulation.
The churches that abide by the professor’s assumptions and arguments ultimately put on theological blinders – God will no longer perform any miracles outside these periods. According for them, all of the claims of healing miracles in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements are therefore either fakes or false miracles.
Like most of the modern cessationists, Warfield was not anti-supernatural acim. He believed that the supernatural activities present in the bible were true. However, he strongly believed that the biblical spiritual gifts and miracles had ceased since the time of the Apostles. Signs and wonders cannot occur inside our era mainly because God apparently has no reason to create them happen.
I studied an 18-page transcript of a type lesson taught by a popular proponent of cessationism. This famous bible teacher begins with the story of Hobart Edward Freeman, a professor of Hebrew, Old Testament Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, who was simply later influenced by the Word of Faith movement. Freeman subsequently became very extreme in his teaching on healing and created storms of controversy by disparaging medical institutions, doctors and medicine. His faith-formula theology has caused him to teach that God is obligated to heal every disease and infirmity if the believer were to response in genuine faith. He believed that if anyone who claimed healing and still continued to take medicine, the individual would not be expressing his faith with matching action.
Later, Freeman was charged by the federal government for’negligent homicide’when some members of his congregation died because of the lack of medical care. Women were told to provide birth at home, assisted by midwives, approved by Freeman’s church. Dead babies were prayed to be resurrected at the altar. Apparently, about 90 parishioners died during Freeman’s tenure. A couple of weeks ahead of his appearance in court, Freeman passed away.
The bible teacher then listed his own selection of so-called extreme faith healers ranging from A. A. Allen, Kathyrn Kuhlman to John Wimber. In careful calculated mockery, he says, “Now, this indicates obvious, at the least a curiosity to many of us that so many leading advocates of faith healing are sick!” He is careful to indicate that a number of these faith healers also died of chronic diseases.
After presenting an entire host of weird and ridiculous events that were considered miraculous by the naive, the bible teacher hopes to convince his audience that individuals who experience or believe in modern miracles are of similar sounding naive people. Sounding benevolent, he warns that false signs and false miracles are the principal tool of Satan in the long run times.
This cessationist claims that he believes God can still do miracles because God’s power hasn’t diminished even yet in modern time. The moment he finishes that, he quickly emphasizes that none, absolutely none, of the so-called miracles experienced today is of biblical standard. He then reiterates his persuasion that both history and the Scripture support his belief that the gift of miracles, as stated in 1 Corinthians 12, has ceased operating today. He challenges the Charismatics to produce a minumum of one person who is raised from the dead. All of the healing miracles, according to the teacher, are partial, gradual, temporary and on occasions, become reversed. They are impossible to verify and apparently the sole instant miracles are those who have regarding psychosomatic diseases.
With heavy mockery, this teacher says that even if the Holy Spirit wants to release His power to heal, why does He choose to release it on people who are teaching bad theology. In true pharisaic approach, he declares that surely if the Holy Spirit wanted to authenticate anybody with miracles, He could have chosen people like the cessationists because based on the teacher, they certainly were supposed to many skilled and teach the truest, purest, most profound and biblical kind of theology. The arrogance of these theological prowess is evidenced but it will work for us to notice that whenever Jesus first came, He did not approach the so-called skilled teachers of the Torah to share the Good News. He instead called people who weren’t theological trained people such as fishermen, tax-collector and even ex-prostitute.Sep 15, 2020 Business